Douglas Merrill, chief executive officer & founder, ZestFinance

US fintech firm, ZestFinance has announced its partnership with Microsoft with intentions to accelerate enterprise adoption of Machine Learning (ML) within the financial services market.

Established in 2009, California-based ZestFinance offers its proprietary Zest Automated Machine Learning (ZAML) software utilizing powerful ML credit models to financial institutions. The alliance with Microsoft will allow ZestFinance to furnish a fully explainable Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution built on Microsoft Azure and Machine Learning Server platforms.

“Microsoft has built amazing ML services for the enterprise that enable IT organizations to manage and scale their infrastructure easily to meet diverse business needs,” says Douglas Merrill, chief executive officer & founder, ZestFinance. “With Zest explainability, businesses can start using Microsoft’s ML platforms more broadly for high-stakes use cases that demand transparency and auditability.”

“Microsoft supports ZestFinance’s ambition to help the financial services industry make better borrowing decisions and equitably help grow our communities,” says Toni Townes-Whitley, president, U.S. Regulated Industries, Microsoft.

According to ZestFinance, in comparison with legacy credit-scoring models its customers have observed improved results using ML credit models, witnessing increase in approval rates by 15% or reducing credit losses by 30%, on average.

Prestige Financial Services, a Microsoft and ZestFinance client was successful in expanding its lending volume in similar fashion.

“Our success was enabled by cutting-edge explainable AI from ZestFinance with battle-hardened infrastructure from Microsoft that is familiar to manage and easy to scale for our business,” says Rob Eagleston, chief technology officer, Prestige Financial Services.

Toni Townes-Whitley further said, “With solutions powered by Microsoft technology, the future of AI and the growth of financial services can be much more inclusive, underscored by Microsoft’s investments in security, privacy, and regulatory compliance.”

by Sumit Vengurlekar
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